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Stogie Reviews: Cain Habano Toro

9 Sep 2009

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all consider Cain to be first son of Adam and Eve. But this biblical figure, regarded by many as “from the wicked one,” is better remembered as the murderer of his brother, Abel, and more generally as the embodiment of evil.

Cain Habano ToroSo given its high-powered makeup, “Cain” seemed a fitting name for Nub creator Sam Leccia’s new brand. It is, after all, a “straight ligero” blend. And ligero is recognized as the most full-flavored of leaves due to their concentration of nutrients and direct exposure to sunlight at the top of the tobacco plant.

As Leccia told us at last month’s IPCPR Trade Show in New Orleans, Cain is 82 percent—not 100 percent—ligero because any cigar comprised entirely of ligero leaves would inherently suffer from serious combustion deficiencies. Both the Maduro- and Habano-wrapped versions of this blend incorporate three different ligero tobaccos grown in the Estelí, Condega, and Jalapa regions of Nicaragua.

The six inch by 50 ring gauge Habano Toro could be easily mistaken for a cigar with a more traditional proportion of ligero, seco, and viso tobaccos. It has an oily, clean-looking wrapper, a fairly solid feel, and pre-light fragrances of sweet cocoa and spice.

While Cain certainly doesn’t look like the progenitor of annihilation, appearances can be deceiving. The first few puffs are remarkably bold and densely packed with notes of peppercorn and dry wood. A background of leather and light sugar, though, adds depth.

To its credit, Cain turns out to be much more than just a heavy-handed bomb of strength and intensity. The Habano Toro is surprisingly smooth and complex, especially as it progresses past the midway point. This is likely the result of the triple fermentation process that Leccia employs to reduce the natural harshness of ligero tobacco.

So what we have here is a bit of a paradox. Leccia presumably created this straight ligero blend to satisfy the palates of enthusiasts of full-bodied cigars, yet he actively took steps to somewhat dilute the edge of ligero tobacco. The result is a blend that’s big on taste but not as explosive as some other sticks on the market (say, the 601 Green).

But I like this cigar for what it is—a rich $6-8 stick with more nuance and smoothness than meets the eye. I also like the fact that Leccia and Oliva include a 12-page pamphlet on Cain’s makeup, fermentation, and flavor in each 24-count box. Making such information readily available is sadly an industry rarity. So despite its occasional construction flaws and some bitter notes, the Cain Habano Toro earns four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

14 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Cain Habano Toro”

  1. dmjones Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 2:58 am #

    After all the hype, I was prepared to be knocked out of my socks by the power of the Cain…but I wasn't. Sure, it's strong, but in my book, the Oliva V Maduro or LG Diez are stronger cigars. So I'm prepared to put all the pre-release build-up, the posturing on the website, and the "Straight Ligero" designation ("Max Ligero" would be more apt) down to just marketing exaggeration. For sure, Sam Leccia has made a great stick for a great price in Cain and I will smoke it often, but it definitely does not live up to the hype.

  2. joe Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 4:41 am #

    who cares how strong it is, its about the flavor.

  3. George E. Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    To be honest, I haven’t paid all that much attention to the hype. But I, too, have been impressed with the Cains I’ve smoked, finding them much the same as Patrick A.

  4. cigar palace Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    while its from olivas i guess it wont be a disapointing cigar. I trust stogie guys. As i remember the strongest cigar i've smoked yet was the j.l. Salazar maduro torpedo i wish u guys try it

  5. cigar bargains Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    Nice review, I will have to give it a try..

  6. mark Friday, September 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    This is a great cigar. If you can set expectations aside to what you think the cigar should taste like you will have a very enjoyable experience.

    Sam Leccia and Oliva have a winner!!!

    The review was spot on. Thanks.

  7. Joe Monday, November 16, 2009 at 9:05 am #

    This is currently my favorite cigar. I love the strong pepper taste, especially when retrohaled through the sinuses. They're quite popular around here, my local cigar shop charges $8.50/stick for them which puts them into the "occasional smoke" range.

    One of the best things about them is how fully packed they are. The cigar is heavy in the hand and packed tight with tobacco. I definitely don't feel cheated when I get a Cain. It makes cheaper cigars feel lightweight and hollow by comparison.

  8. AggieTreed Friday, December 18, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    I love this cigar. I've had two Cains so far and plan to keep buyin. The flavor at the end of the cigar is what entrances me the most I cant quite figure out what it is…can anyone else pinpoint the exact flavor I'm thinking of?

  9. Solomon Brainiac Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    It doesn't have the cool kick like the Rocky Patel Edge gives or the mellow roar of the Oliva V, but I was impressed with Cain Habano Torpedo. A couple of stems, but it is a good overall smoke, smooth, tasty medium to full stogie. It is better than the nubs.

  10. Jim Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 4:47 am #

    This cigar is now my favorite everyday smoke. I've been lucky enough to snag these for under $5 a stick dbl toro habano. Spice up front but not overpowering with definite hints of " baked bread " throughout.

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